Renowned director Steven Spielberg's remake of the 1933 cult monster classic ‘King Kong' has stalled in the pre-production phase, in a row over whether the giant ape should have a visible 10-foot penis.
Spielberg said he was "outraged" at a decision by film company Paramount Pictures to scrap his plans for the virtual computer-generated beast to be suitably well endowed.
"I've always been a huge advocate of realism and artistic integrity," said the maker of Close Encounters of the Third Kind
. "If this industry is to move with the times, then it's utterly essential that we be allowed to portray a 75-foot ape with the appropriate package in the downstairs department."
Fans said they agreed with Spielberg.
"Let's face it, it won't be very convincing if the most chaotic and volatile monster of cinema history is forced to straddle the Empire State Building looking like a Fisher Price toy," said fantasy and sci-fi fan Ernie Tanks.
Paramount has defended its actions, saying that initial screen shots of Kong's giant member had confirmed fears that the sight would be "too comical" for younger viewers.
"We trialled the penis shots on test audiences and most of the children were in fits of laughter," said Paramount spokesman Tony Shanks. "Many of them turned to their fathers and said ‘His is much bigger than yours, daddy'."
Meanwhile Spielberg's camp has denied that Kong's controversial penis was modelled on that of pop star Michael Jackson's pet chimp Bubbles.
"An approach was made to Mr Jackson but he made it crystal clear that he was the only person allowed near Bubbles' genitalia," said one source close to the director.